CITY HALL – Somehow, a meeting about whether or not the Laemmle theater would be allowed to sell alcohol for its theaters and in two new restaurants – one on the roof – took a long detour into a debate over whether or not the screens should be allowed to be used for video games.

Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon, who is running for City Council proposed the video game allowance, which the theater operators were not interested in until it was offered. Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy, who is running for City Council, was not supportive. Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich, who is running for City Council, sided with McKinnon noting that she enjoys playing co-op video games with her husband.

(Earlier this month the Daily Press reached out to the four Planning Commissioners not running for council about what it’s like to sit on a commission so chock full of candidates. All four responded with a resounding “No Comment.” Commissioner Jim Ries, who was not present at Wednesday’s meeting, said: “No comment other than Planning Commission is a bowl of cherries.”)

But alas, Laemmle got its alcohol permits.

They are adding two screens to their complex, bringing the total to six, but substantially dropping the total number of seats.

A rooftop restaurant, seating 165 people, would be open to the sky. Laemmle has a national operator in mind for the 3,000-square-foot seating area.

Alcohol would be served in the lobby and could be brought into the theaters.

The second restaurant, which is also without an operator to date, would occupy the first and second floor of the building. It would seat 181 people, including 12 as part of an outdoor dining area on Second Street.

Video games shall not be permitted.

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